Throwback Thursday: Fireweed (aka The Fireweed Company) – Drinking Man (1994)
By Zachary Houle
It has been said that Ottawa is the city that fun forgot – a cliché if there was one. However, if you suppose that that statement is true, then consider the state of the Ottawa Valley. I grew up in the small town of Barry’s Bay, Ontario, which is literally right next door to the middle of nowhere – Algonquin Provincial Park. As a youth growing up there, I can tell you that there wasn’t all that much happening. There was a ski hill, which obviously meant that if you wanted something to do during the winters, you skied. If you were a jock, you played in one of the after-school sports at Madawaska Valley District High School (MVDHS). But if you weren’t a jock, there wasn’t all that much you could gravitate towards. Sure, there were house parties to go to every now and then, but I was pretty straight-edge: I didn’t touch a drop of alcohol until my 19th birthday. So those parties, for me, were often rather middling at best.
However, music geeks such as me did have an underground network of friends and acquaintances that provided mixtapes or CDs for you to record on your own. And, in the final year of my studies at MVDHS, something happened. A local country-rock band emerged: Fireweed. And they had a CD to shill! Drinking Man was a source of salvation. It gave you concerts to go to, and a reason to be proud of the area you grew up in. Fireweed – which has since changed their name to The Fireweed Company – remains an incredibly popular band in the Madawaska Valley. Their concerts routinely pull in 800 people in an area where only a few thousand live. Consider that for a moment if you’re an Ottawa band. Wouldn’t you love to have 800 people show up to your gigs? In that sense, Fireweed was and is one of the most enduring and well-liked groups in the Ottawa region.
Not everything was all wine and roses, though. As is the case with many Valley bands, the group had its issues cracking the Ottawa market. I interviewed the band extensively during the mid-90s and, on one occasion, while sitting down with the outfit for a feature in Carleton University’s student newspaper, the Charlatan, in September 1995, guitarist and backing vocalist Steve Gutoskie lamented the fact that Fireweed just wasn’t getting any respect in O-town.
“Ottawa has slammed the door in our face,” he said. “Everyone’s heard of us, and CHEZ and the university stations occasionally play our stuff, but stations like the Bear and the CBC just won’t support us. They won’t even return our phone calls.” However, Fireweed did have a streak of supportiveness for their peers. Bassist Bob Coulas said in the same interview that, “Music isn’t a competition. We want to listen to other (local) bands and like them, and we just want to play.”
And play the group has throughout nearly 25 years. Formed in 1992 in Killaloe, Ontario, Fireweed centers around the slice-of-life lyrics of singer and rhythm guitarist Jayson Bradshaw and the fiery lead guitar attack of Gutoskie. I had the pleasure of seeing Fireweed live on many occasions, and I can tell you that they are an incendiary group: Gutoskie has been known to burn the barn doors down on a cover of Tom Petty’s “American Girl”.
If you haven’t heard of Fireweed, musically they are a cross between the Canadiana blues rock of the Tragically Hip and more country rock stylings. Listening to the Drinking Man now, I hear a certain debt to Hootie and the Blowfish. However, that comparison might be a delusory one. It shouldn’t be, as Fireweed certainly are a more serious and honed band than Hootie ever was, but a touch of that
The key to appreciating Drinking Man, which was made in a marathon 36-hour recording session at Toronto’s Metalworks studio and mastered by Peter Moore, who had produced the Cowboy Junkies, is entering the album through the lyrics. Bradshaw has an uncanny eye for detail in portraying the lives of characters that live in small villages. “Well, I can’t stand this town no more / Time to run from my conscience, in the morning it’s no more / Time to run and hide – leave this town behind,” Bradshaw sings on “Sore Conscience”.
Drinking Man, indeed, is choc-a-bloc with stories about people who populate the villages of the Valley: “Three Shots” is a harrowing story of domestic assault that ends in murder, and the title track is about a man with “no education, no skills or trade.” “Box of Beer”, a rocking punky number, is a sarcastic look at the drinking and drug culture of the Valley. (I wound up calling in and requesting the song to be played at 4 a.m. one morning on CKCU when I apparently couldn’t sleep, and they actually honoured my request.)
There are deviations from the country-rock tinged sounds on the album, though. “Stone Jammin’” is very much a nod to the alterna-rock scene of the time, owing a great deal to Pearl Jam, and the album ends with a spoken word piece, “Home Tattoo”. While there might be obvious influences and touches of styles of music that were popular at the time, the band was trying to do its own thing. “Writing-wise, I don’t have another band as an influence,” Bradshaw told me in an interview for the Eganville Leader in August 1994. “I like other bands but I don’t ever look at them and say, ‘I want to write like that or sound like that.’ I try to stay away from sounding like other bands because originality is the bottom line.”
As to his lyrical genesis, Bradshaw also explained, “If you watch the news, you can find a story anywhere really. Or watch your next door neighbours sometimes … .” Drinking Man remains a key album of the Ottawa Valley, just as important as anything recorded by folk group the Wilno Express. It was a successful album for the band: a year after its release, it had gone on to sell 850 copies (again, local bands may salivate at that sales figure). While the record is now sadly out of print, the band members still get asked about it on the streets of their respective towns (the group is now based in Combermere, Pembroke and Wilno). However, you can listen to the record for free on the CBC Radio 3 website.
The group, which has undergone some personnel changes and the slight name change (though Bradshaw and Gutoskie still remain), has since gone on to release a sophomore record, 2007’s As long as you know … , which is arguably tighter and more focused. The Fireweed Company has also released a video for a tune that has yet to show up on an album for “The Philosophical Song”. Definitely, the Fireweed Company is still going strong, and Drinking Man remains a testament to forging one’s own path in a region where there isn’t all that much to do, so you might as well make your own entertainment. That the album still sounds fresh and fundamental, some 20 years later, shows just how essential a record it is.
The next time you’re in the Valley, and these guys are playing a show, certainly do try to check them out. You’ll be in for a very, very good time. Until then, we thankfully have their recorded output to tide us over, especially for those of us simply looking for a good time to be had in the comfort of your own home.
Zachary Houle is the Canadian Music Editor for PopMatters.com, a Chicago-based webzine that attract 1.3 million unique visitors globally each month. He also reviews books for bookwookie.ca. In addition to his music and book writing, he has had freelance journalism published in SPIN, the Ottawa Citizen, the National Post and Canadian Business. He also dabbles in fiction and poetry, and his work here has been published in literary magazines in Canada, the US and the UK. He was a recipient of an emerging artist grant from the City of Ottawa, and was nominated for a US Pushcart Prize for his work.
New Music: Capital City by Jon Creeden
Jon Creeden just released an awesome three-song EP called Capital City. The songs are about two Ottawa house venues and one of Ottawa’s favourite moustached concert-goer.
The first track “Leave Your Shoes On” is dedicated to Scum House, a local venue that is no longer with us. Bow your head for a moment of silence, R.I.P. Scum House… Scum House, which was located on Gladstone near Kent was where I first saw and met Creeden. It was a wild and crazy night of punk rock and police visits as the community said goodbye to the venue hosting its last show. We were certainly arm in arm and singing along on that night (my post about that show here).
Song two, “Take Your Shoes Off,” is about to Robot!House!! This is another great track about a wonderful house venue in town which has hosted some great sweaty singalongs and parties. Creeden did a masterful job of intertwining Robots!Everywhere!! lyrics through the song making it an instant classic for all fans of R!E!! And let’s be serious, who isn’t?
Lastly “Clothing Optional” is about one of Ottawa’s favourite moustached concert goer, J-S. The song perfectly describes him, his antics and of course that wonderful perfectly maintained stache. There are very few people who attend more shows, sing at the top of their lungs to every local band and have as much fun, as our good friend J-S. Creeden totally nailed this one. I also love the Cal Ripken reference and the sneaky comparison of Steve McCrimmon’s age and lasting presence to Ripken’s.
Capital City is a wonderful homage to some really important parts of punk rock in Ottawa. Creeden may be living up in Stratford, Ontario now, but this album definitely solidifies his place in the Ottawa music scene.
Morning Metal – Interview with Beacons
Guys, thank you and welcome.
Tell us a little bit about the band’s origin.
We’re a four piece from Fort Myers, Florida. We originated in 2010 and have been getting nothing but heavier and more focused ever since.
For metal fans, why should they check Beacons out?
Honestly, there are millions upon billions of artists trying to do their thing these days whatever genre or style it may be; some for simple reasons to just play some shows and have fun and maybe some for a get rich quick scheme, but we are doing exactly what we love to do for simply that reason. Never once compromising our integrity or our love for the game for a quick dollar.
If we were in this for the money, we would be doing so many things much more differently. As our name states were simply here to stand out. We put a lot of time into the music we write both instrumentally and lyrically and we really hope it shows on Dead Thoughts.
Beacons has just released your debut full-length album, Dead Thoughts” on November 25th.
Tell us a little about it.
The entire Idea behind Dead Thoughts is basically to breath your own air and think your own thoughts (hints the gas mask) in other words, to basically filter through all the bullshit of this world and really be your own person while trying to push through the negative cloud hanging over head that is this world, media, school, work, etc. We’re beyond proud of how it came out and hope that you all can really connect as we did while writing it.
Nowadays, it’s very rare that a band will release a full length rather than an EP, and I always prefer full-lengths due to the fact it provides a full experience for the artist.
Is there any particular reason?
Yes, we had already previously released two EP’s in the past along with two singles (Complications EP, The Dead March Single, Scum Single, Endless EP) and just decided that it was time to step it up. Also there were a lot of topics that I (Taylor) really wanted to dig deep into that I wouldn’t have been able to do on an EP.
Where can listeners get a hold of Dead Thoughts if they’re looking to purchase it?
It’s up on iTunes and Spotify, and you can pick up physical orders here on our official website and also on our Bandcamp!
The upcoming “December to Dismember Tour” with Obliterate, Apex and I, The Reverend – what can we expect?
We’re very excited for this tour. It’s heavy and all the bands on the bill are sick. We can’t wait to check them out and meet them all ourselves. From us, we will be playing almost all new songs off of Dead Thoughts So learn some lyrics and come head bang! \m/
When are you guys going to do a Canadian tour and come to Ottawa?
We’ve got a killer amount of metal heads here!
Hopefully soon! Since we’re hooking up with the Obliterate dudes this December, maybe they’ll treat us in the future.
Do you guys have merchandise available online that fans can check out and buy?
We do and we design most of it and also print all of it ourselves. Check it out here.
With 2014 coming to a close – a sweet tour, a wicked new album – what are your plans for 2015?
Right now, 2015 is looking like it’ll be an interesting one. With such a good response already only having had the album out since November 25th, things are looking good. We have a few ideas for tours being thrown around with some cool bands and friends. We also are working on shooting our second DIY music video for the album (the first being “Brainwashed”), and last but not least were already demoing out some new songs for the next release. 2015 has a lot in store! Look out for us and Thank you all for the support.
Guys, thank you again for joining us! We look forward to hearing more from you!
Your debut album, Dead Thoughts, will be featured as Morning Metal’s Artist of the Week on December 8th – while tracks featuring all bands on the tour will be played for the next month to promote the tour.
Check out Beacons on Facebook!
Stream Dead Thoughts on Bandcamp or YouTube!
Keep an eye on their upcoming tour with Obliterate, Apex. and I, The Reverend!
James Rockso – Host of CKCU 93.1 FM’s Morning Metal & Music Publicist at Dark Matter Relations
New Video: “Shattered Dreams” by Raphael Weinroth-Browne
In any industry there are always a small group of individuals who reach for more than others. Raphael Weinroth-Browne is one such individual from the music industry. He’s a composer, multi-instrumentalist and master cellist with several groups and his own solo efforts. This September he was appointed this year’s and next’s Artistic Director of the Ottawa New Music Creators. A longer list of his collaborations than I’ll make here is available on their blog.
It’s been a good year for Raphael — he’s travelled to Prague with his partner Heather Sita Black to play as The Visit at Nouvelle Prague, he is one integral third of Musk Ox who just released their Woodfall album this year, and he’s also releasing his own metal-inspired chamber music that he’s composed.
Hence “Shattered Dreams,” which came out in March of this year, has been made a video. A talented Ylan Chu on piano accompanies Raphael down sweeping soundscapes of four cellos and two pianos. The video overlaps several versions of Raphael and Ylan as they play the composition by Weinroth-Browne. The cinematography is deliberate and dream-like, worth the watch. If you like the track you can buy it from Raphael’s bandcamp.
Interview: Alec Mead of The Way Collective
With this whole Showbox thing, we get to meet some pretty interesting people. I recently met Alec Mead, who is doing something very different than most musicians in Ottawa. He’s involved in an emerging collective called The Way, and is passionate about what Ottawa’s creative types have to offer. I chatted with him about what it’s all about, and how it fits into the larger Ottawa music community.
The Way is doing something different than most musicians in Ottawa. Can you explain what the Way is, and what its goals are?
The Way is an idea. Our goal as a collective is to promote awareness of certain facts, most of which we are still learning, the ever-expanding group of artists that use mediums to express themselves. My belief is that we are all of the same, and when we are expressing ourselves – we are relating. We want people to feel included and able to participate and fulfill their ideas.
What kind of musicians have partaken in the events so far? What is the atmosphere like?
Most of the musicians we work with are typical (whatever that is), but some are not. Yosuke was a mentor to us, he traveled India and Australia and lived with us for a year, he played on the street of the market busking with a hang drum and was able to teach us many things. Then he invited his buddy Byung Hee and we toured Canada.
Can you tell us what touring across the country was all about, and if you have more plans to do so again?
We left with almost no money, a tank full of gas, some amps that worked with rechargeable batteries, and some solar panels. We went to an eco village to learn about the ecology of Canada, and how diverse it was. Then we headed off to the west coast and hit most major cities and were invited into people’s homes. Attracting Zen-like people we were able to not only survive but thrive with the locals of each place. We will be doing a bigger tour with some booked shows this summer, and we are building a crew and looking for the right vehicle to take us.
In your mind, what are some of the good qualities of Ottawa’s arts and culture community. What is Ottawa missing?
Ottawa is rich with people who care about the world – we care about change and we care about each other. What it’s missing is some funding. There is not very much interest in the voice of our city to be heard globally, and as a multicultural center of our globalized society we have a lot of simple conclusions. Ottawa is on its way to being a very strong place for music because we have music from every part of the world. We listen and jam often.
For those new to The Way, what can they expect if they come out to one of the events like those held at Pressed Café?
They can expect that we are doing things differently. “Process over product” is a credo that I think applies to most of what we do. Once the process is optimized, the products will naturally be better. We have alot of different mediums like live painting and some dancing to express what people are capable of and what bring us together. Also we made some name tags with quotes from great people from the history of our world. For example, “And remember no matter where you go there you are”- Confucius
We will be doing more and more with the Ottawa community in many different ways. Seek us and we will be found.
Throwback Thursday: Paperjack – The Effort I’ll Never Get Back (2001)
By Zachary Houle
It was the summer of 2000. I frequented the Second Cup on the corner of Bank and Somerset, as it was a favourite coffee joint, and still is. However, anyone visiting during that time got a bit of a treat while getting java. You got a preview of Paperjack’s sophomore (and final) album, 2001’s The Effort I’ll Never Get Back. My memory is foggy, but one or two of the guys worked there. Anyhow, over the store’s PA system, a rough mix without vocals would be frequently playing, simply because the dudes who worked there were in the band and they naturally wanted to show off their latest creation.
If that says anything, The Effort I’ll Never Get Back had a fairly long gestation period – recorded in scraps at various studios and put together meticulously. When the goods finally dropped, courtesy of Kelp Records, one thing was clear, and is even much clearer in retrospect: this was a band giving its all. In 2014, listening to the album again, it’s apparent about how much of a concept album this is about being in a band, knowing full well that this might be the group’s last shot at the big time –whatever that big time was. Their hearts were on their sleeve and they poured whatever finances they had into the project. Indeed, the photo on the insert of the disc coyly is shot from the inside of a vehicle – a homage to Double Nickels On the Dime? – as the driver is passing by a Scotiabank branch on the 417 as he reaches for the radio controls.
My first encounter with Paperjack, sort of, wasn’t a positive one. In the mid-90s, I was writing music reviews for the Ottawa Citizen’s High Priority page for teenagers (back when the paper tried to cater to a young audience) and I said something in a review about the latest Furnaceface album being overproduced. Ben Wilson, who would become the frontman for Paperjack and was, at the time, a graduate of Glebe Collegiate, wrote a letter to the page on June 26, 1995, telling me that “Furnaceface’s release is not a ‘mess’. Rather, it’s a display of what the band can achieve musically. After all, who wants a CD that does not give a full picture of the band’s abilities?”
Little did I know at the time that Paperjack, so named after a book by local fantasy writer Charles de Lint, would become one of my favourite bands, after seeing them perform at Carleton University, where the band members were studying, and buying their 1997 disc Ross, which only hinted at the promise of the group. I think I eventually realized that Wilson, the singer/guitarist, was the dude who wrote to me in High Priority (I have a long memory), and we talked about it and buried the hatchet.
But Wilson’s words reverberate with me as I write this piece. Clearly, The Effort I’ll Never Get Back is indeed a full display of what the band could achieve musically. It paints a full picture of the band’s abilities, a shot at going completely for broke. And, yes, it’s a record about being in a group. Opening song “You Guys Are Awesome” is about the other bands that peppered the scene: “Did you have a good time? / Did you have fun? / You guys are awesome / Did you have space? / To pack in the van? / You guys are awesome.”
Later on, on the haunting “Let’s Be Super-Nice to Each Other”, Wilson, who channels Stephen Malkmus, sings, “I never kissed a musician until I kissed Sarah,” who becomes a “sister” when he joins, presumably, the musician’s union. “All of these plans / And working for the man / With all my sisters and brothers.” So, yes, The Effort I’ll Never Get Back is about the trials and tribulations of being in a group with the foreshadowing that this could be it, this is one shot at reaching glory and the need and reliance on other people to help attain that.
But what makes The Effort I’ll Never Get Back a special album is that it is a human album. The vaguely post-rock instrumental “Cloak & Dagger” is notable in that it includes a very noticeable flub that stops the song briefly. For all that the disc is about doing your best and trying to reach out to as many people as possible, it is also an acknowledgement that perhaps your best isn’t all you’ve got, and, indeed, this might just be pessimistically the effort you’ll truly never get back.
However, even though the record is certainly meaty and gives you grist for the mill in what it takes to be a successful band, the record is, in a word, fun. It flat rocks out gleefully. This is embarrassing, but, to this day, I’ve been known to practice air guitar to “F* Off” in the company of my cat in the downtown Ottawa apartment I share. Congratulations, Paperjack. I think you’re the only local band I’ve done that to.
Aside from that song, The Effort I’ll Never Get Back is studded with gems. “Break Things” is a nod to Replacements-style alt-punk. “Blist”, which was something of the “single” from the album, considering that it showed up on a compilation from Fine Records of Ottawa acts, also hums with vital energy. “Nod of Satisfaction” has a melancholic riff that slithers into your cranium and never lets go. And “Stranger Means Danger” is a strum of a song that also makes a memorable mark with its acoustic and electric guitars stabbing at each other with a remarkable melody.
What’s more, though, this LP also shows off the musician’s musicianship. “Grain of Salt” is notable for its polyrhythmic drum pattern that makes the tune sound somehow foreign, as though it gestated in a dark continent. “The Alpine Swiss” is a slacker of a song that, yes, recalls Pavement, but a version of Pavement that wasn’t interested in sloppiness or playing as though they’d spent too much time at the beer taps. “Master Card” – another nod to the debt these guys went into to make this record? – chugs and churns with the guitars pointing a counter-attack to the rhythm section.
All in all, The Effort I’ll Never Get Back is among the very finest records that this city has given birth to. And, truthfully, Paperjack never really got the respect they deserved. I recall seeing the band play at an outdoor festival in Confederation Park sometime after the album’s release, and the outfit was in the middle of playing “Blist”, I believe, before they got the power pulled on them mid-song – they’d gone over their allocated time limit, no matter how good of a time those in the audience were having, forcing the group to quietly leave the stage with a meek “thanks.” Typical Ottawa bureaucracy at work.
Although Paperjack is no longer, remnants of the band still linger. Wilson works at a job in the federal government as a speechwriter, and I believe he has a family. He and Brennan Pilkington have formed a “hypnotic space folk” band called Orienteers that have been active in Ottawa since 2008. The other guys? Who knows? Still, if I ever need a fond memory of a seemingly simpler time, a time before 9/11, a time before the war on terror, and a time before the Great Recession (which has impacted writers like me), The Effort I’ll Never Get Back is what I turn to.
In that letter to High Priority, Wilson concluded, “Critics of anything tend to say too much – try just paying attention and respecting things for what they are.” I couldn’t come up with a better statement to describe Paperjack’s final album. Just pay attention and respect it, because, when all is said and done, it still holds up as a damn fine statement of the very best that the Ottawa music scene has had to offer. It’s durable and an excellent effort that rewards the listener, even if Paperjack never truly got the accolades that they so clearly and dearly deserved. A “Nod of Satisfaction”, indeed.
Zachary Houle is the Canadian Music Editor for PopMatters.com, a Chicago-based webzine that attracts 1.3 million unique visitors globally each month. He also reviews books for bookwookie.ca. In addition to his music and book writing, he has had freelance journalism published in SPIN, the Ottawa Citizen, the National Post and Canadian Business. He also dabbles in fiction and poetry, and his work here has been published in literary magazines in Canada, the US and the UK. He was a recipient for an emerging artist grant from the City of Ottawa, and was nominated for a US Pushcart Prize for his work.
Weekend Music Roundup: Dec. 4 – 7
Looking for live music in Ottawa this weekend? Ottawa Showbox has you covered with the Weekend Music Roundup.
Thursday Dec. 4
Friday Dec. 5
Saturday Dec. 6
Sunday Dec. 7
Thirsty Thursdays: Spice Up Your Life
By Daniel Bordage
Beer: Beau’s Siduri White Pepper Saison
Pairing: A White Pepper Saison with a “Spicy” playlist. Spice in the title, lyrics, band name or something that will spice up the boudoir.
About the Beer: “Siduri is a character in the Epic of Gilgamesh. She is an “alewife,” a wise female divinity associated with fermentation (specifically beer and wine).” (Source Wikipedia)
I’ve been eyeing this sultry Siduri for the better part of two seasons. She was sitting there, in my basement, calling out my name. After pondering why I hear voices in my head, I decided to drink her in. Her spice of life was asking me to be content with the simple pleasures of life. A dichotomy that was hard to fathom. “How could that be?” I asked back. “You are so beautiful (packaging) and delicious (taste of the beer). There is nothing simple about you…” She then said, “Shut the f$%# up Daniel and make the damn playlist already!”
The commercial description goes as follows:
This extra-strong saison beer has been spiced with white peppercorns and aged in red-grape icewine barrels. The pepper character is definitely present but doesn’t overwhelm this delicate creation; earthy undertones come out in the finish.
Contest of the week
I asked the wonderful Jodi of Ottawa’s favorite spice store, Cardamom and Cloves, to make a “Spicy” gift basket for our contest. The winner had to choose a local band or song that would fit the “Spicy” theme. The winner announced later in the playlist!
Let’s get spicy!
(Almost) Full Grooveshark playlist HERE
(Almost ) Full Youtube playlist HERE
Mulatu Astatke – “Yegelle Tezeta“
When I hear this song, I can only imagine an underground jazz bar serving a dish of something made with Berbere. You see, Mulatu is from Ethiopia and so is Berbere.
Al Barry and The Cimerons- “Morning Sun“
Not everybody likes it in the morning. But I do… the sun that is.
Dynamite Motel – “Why Try And Change Me Now“
This is the winning song in this week’s local artist contest. Wow! The sweetest of spice. Thank you Mean Dorris (of the Ottawa band The Haig) for the suggestion. For that, you win the Cardamom and Cloves spice gift.
The wonderful Dynamite Hotel performing live.
The National – “I Should Live In Salt“
We kind of do already live in salt with the North American diet. The history of salt is quite interesting. My potato chip addiction thanks you salt…
Butthole Surfers – “Pepper“
White pepper is used as an ingredient in the beer. But pepper is only used in the title of this song. They do sing about cinnamon though. In researching this playlist, I found that so many good songs mention cinnamon. Anybody know why? Below are two of my favorites.
Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks – “Cinnamon And Lesbians“
Neil Young fell in love with a cinnamon girl. I fell in love with “Cinnamon and Lesbians.”
Stone Roses – “Sally Cinnamon“
Yup… cinnamon is delicious and not all are alike.
Mellow Yellow – “Donovan“
They are mad about saffron and so am I. Did you know it takes 80,000 flowers to produce a pound of saffron, with a cost in the range of 600 to 2,000 dollars a pound? This makes saffron the most expensive spice in the world. Also, from Cleopatra’s time to this day, it’s said that the aroma lingering on the skin after a hot saffron bath is enough to make any lover go mad with desire. The word saffron derives from Arabic: Za’feran and da asfar, meaning yellow.
Jurassic 5 – “Red Hot”
Let’s heat it up a bit. It’s cold outside and this will help get the blood going.
RiSession – “Maple Syrup“
Ottawa’s own RiSession adds the perfect spice with Maple Syrup. Yeah, I’ve used maple syrup before to spice things up. Who hasn’t?… Boy, do I love BBQ sauce made with maple syrup!
Flying Lotus – “Spicy Sammich“
Dim the lights and set up the table with candles, Siduri, and a spicy sammich. Don’t forget the napkins!!!
Massive Attack – “Black Milk”
Keep the mood going with some Massive Attack. Most songs on Mezzanine would spice things up.
Blonde Redhead – “Oslo“
Is it warm in here? Or is it just me?
Lovage – “Archie & Veronica“
Mike Patton has fronted some heavy bands in his day. From Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, and Tomahawk. But this departure project is the spiciest by far!!!
Neil Young – “Cinnamon Girl” (too obvious to include)
Death From Above 1979 – “Sexy Results“
Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Sir Psycho Sexy“
Contact me on twitter @danielbordage or at firstname.lastname@example.org for suggestions, comments or just to say hi.
Interview: Sarah Cogan of Thrifty Kids
By Andrew Lacelle // Featured photo by Paul Dzioba (Fritz E Fotografie)
“Dance gave me tempo, art gave me creativity, and musicals gave me rhythm.”
I’m never sure what sparks my interest in bands. Ottawa is full of them, and honestly, I’m never sure if there is ever enough. Back in June, I was introduced to a singer/songwriter Sarah Cogan. Through a mutual friend’s recommendation, I invited Sarah out to open up the show.
After her set, and my enthusiastic applause, I spoke with Sarah and asked what she had planned for her music. She explained she was working on forming a full band outfit. This made me even more excited! Just a few months after Thrifty Kids were released upon Ottawa. Their first single “Cherry Wine” was a huge hit amongst their fans and people around town.
Interview with Sarah Cogan of Thrifty Kids
In a short web interview, I asked Sarah about some of the inner workings of Thrifty Kids.
So who are in Thrifty Kids?
S.C – Thrifty Kids. consists of Dylan Frankland (Lead Guitar), Cam Alford (Bass), Jordan Gauthier (Drums), and myself (Vocals/ Guitar).
Do all the other band members contribute or are you the primary songwriter?
S.C – Our songs thus far have been predominantly written by myself. But as we progress as a band, our songs will be written together. Who knows what’s in store? Can’t wait to find out.
What sparked your passion for music?
S.C – My passion for music comes from being exposed to so much art as a child. My parents had me cascaded in all the arts growing up. I found myself indulging into musicals, films, dance, guitar, and more. They allotted me the opportunity to do it all. And I’ll be forever indebted to them of doing so, because it brought me to where/who I am today. Dance gave me tempo, art gave me creativity, and musicals gave me rhythm. All combined, is the concoction of Sarah.
Did you find it hard as a solo artist to move your music into a full band?
S.C – The transition of solo to full band was anything but difficult. It was exciting. Coming together with other musicians and creating is one of the most fulfilling experiences out there. My fellow band-mates contributions to my songs have made them complete.
When you write your music do you have certain “format” or does it just flow from the heart?
S.C – To oversimplify my songwriting format, it would be best described as melody-driven. The core of my songwriting is the melodies, soon after lyrics begin to “flow” from there.
How would you describe Thrifty Kids music?
S.C – I would describe Thrifty Kids as melody-influenced, indie-surf rock. (Yeah, we’re a bit all over the place.) We like to think it keeps things interesting.
Acoustic versus Electric? I’ve seen you play both. Which do you prefer?
S.C – It ideally depends on the setting/ atmosphere. When it comes to writing, most likely takes place on the acoustic. When it comes to full band, the electric always wins. Not only does it look cool, it just brings the ultimate full band sound.
Thrifty Kids – awesome name, what are its origins?
S.C – As much as I’d like to spill a whole back-story about how our name came to be, it was a tagline on a photograph that was taken of us, in the midst of thrift shopping. Rummaging through old photos, we stumbled upon it. It just seemed fitting to us – simple yet recognizable.
Thrifty Kids sound has rested in my ears in my heart. I could only describe them as a refreshing sound in this over-talented city. They are truly the latest evolution in what Ottawa has to offer. Thrifty Kids latest release “Granola” came out alongside a video. This Thursday you can check out Thrifty Kids live at Cafe Dekcuf. They will be playing alongside Montreal indie/pop/folk rockers Motel Raphaël and Sarah Bradley of Ottawa’s FEVERS.
Thursday, Dec. 4
Cafe Dekcuf (221 Rideau St – above Mavericks)
Doors are at 8pm
10$ for advance tickets. 19+
Band Facebook Page